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Updated: November 23, 2012 17:33 IST

Continuing the legacy

Harshini Vakkalanka
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Brain and brawn, Rana has them both
Brain and brawn, Rana has them both

Smoking hot Rana Daggubati talks about his latest film insisting cinema is his only vision, be it acting, directing or producing

Rana Daggubati is clear that language never takes preference over the role itself. He is one of the few Telugu actors who has ventured into Bollywood and his forthcoming projects includes a Tamil film.

“I only do one film at a time and for me it’s more about the story than the language because I speak Hindi, Telugu and Tamil quite fluently. I only take up the roles that draw me,” he admits over telephone. So far, he has acted in six films in Hindi and Telugu, including his debut film Leader, Dum Maaro Dum, Department and Naa Ishtam.

Though it may seem like he prefers working with action-oriented roles, Rana dismisses such categorization and points out that each role is actually quite unique.

Leader was a political drama, Dum Maaro Dum was a thriller and Department was a police drama. It’s just that all these films have an action feel and perhaps I am given such roles because of my build.”

Rana, who won the Filmfare Award for the Best Male Debut-South in 2010, is now looking forward to the release of Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum opposite Nayanthara, directed by Krish (known for films like Gamyam and Vedam).

The film is due to be released on November 30 and combines two seemingly diverse fields of theatre and cinema. Inspired by the Surbhi genre of theatre the film juxtaposes Indian mythology with the contemporary theme of mining.

“It is a functional story that features characters who are not usually seen in celluloid. It was a challenge to combine theatre and drama but it was also lovely because I got to play characters such as Abhimanyu and Ghatotkacha. I have always wanted to play these characters,” says Rana who plays a theatre actor in the film.

Although working with such a complex yet familiar theme was a challenge, Rana found plenty of inspiration in Telugu cinema of yesteryears. Telugu classics offered plenty of references, especially in N.T.R’s much-loved portrayal of characters from the Indian mythology in films such as Daana Veera Sura Karna.

“I would like to be known as a versatile actor and so each of my six films has no connection with one another. My next film therefore will be nothing like Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum.

Rana also hopes to ensure that his versatility is not restricted to his roles alone, but also applies to his work in the field of cinema. “I began my career in cinema working with visual effects and then I moved on to acting. I want to write, direct and produce films. It is a step-by-step learning process for me,” explains the actor who won the National Award as a producer for “A Belly Full of Dreams” before his debut as an actor.

Rana’s first significant foray into the world of cinema was with Spirit Media, where he worked with post-production technology like Digital Intermediate. He has also worked on ad films.

Knowledge in the field is where Rana believes he has an edge, because he hails from a family that is so deeply rooted in cinema, being the son of a film producer (D.Suresh Babu) and the nephew of two superstars in Telugu cinema (Venkatesh and Nagarjuna).

“I can’t think of doing anything else with my life. My family is my biggest influence and I would like to work on a combination of what they have all done, together. My only vision is to work with cinema.”

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